ONE in six expectant mothers is obese and medical staff are struggling to find wheelchairs and beds big enough to cope.
Startling figures also reveal how almost 2pc of pregnant women at the Coombe maternity hospital – a total of 150 – last year were classed as 'morbidly obese'.
Professor Michael Turner from the UCD Centre for Human Reproduction said the figures reflect a nationwide trend of worrying obesity among pregnant women.
"The figures for the Coombe are close to the national rate," said the Professor of Obstetrics and Gynaecology from the Coombe Women and Infants University Hospital.
"We are having difficulty finding beds and wheelchairs that are big enough for morbidly obese women. One in six dads is obese as well."
Prof Turner said there is a need for specialised equipment such as extra wide wheelchairs, examination couches and beds along with hoists and special delivery beds in Irish maternity units.